I didn't want to have to work full-time, or even part-time until daughter and son were both safely past Year 1 and the phonics that lie therein. But the Cameron Led Armageddong that is the triple dip We Don't Care We're Alright has left me high and dry on the shores of the financially bleak. From being a comfortable family we have slumped to a not very comfy at all family. Husbands employers have cut his hours to 2 days a week. I need to work.
Now, let's see. Can I claim any benefits to help? Apparently not. Despite our annual income being 18K now, I am not entitled to contribution based Job Seekers Allowance because I haven't paid in to NI for the last two years. Apparently, my paying in aged 18 to 36 means nothing. I can't get a bean. No help with anything, in fact. We may, possibly get Tax credits, but probably not,as husband also has registered a self employed sole trader business that he was intending, over a period to build up. Well, he better chuffing do it, because being a sole trader for the Tax Credits demons sets their alarm bells ringing and we won't get a bean until they've investigated. Probably for years. Likewise, with no JSA or benefits, school meals and the like are unobtainable.
I am the squashed middle. Me.
I rang the employment agencies. I can do supply, I said. I was wrong. I can't do supply. Not only have I not taught for 6 years which makes me virtually sea slug on the intellect level, but I have no car, and neither does husband, as it was a company car, so I can't really do that "get called at 7am and be out of the house by 7.10 bunging the kids in handily prepared childcare and zipping off in my car to teach" thing. Neither can I do full-time. Partly this is a from a feeling that to do so would short change my kids, never have I seen such wind blown husks of children than at breakfast club and after-school club. But it's also monetary. If i'm working, and then paying for pre-and-after school care, i'm working for a pittance, and my children have less joy. If I can work part-time, my kids see me work, they do a bit of childcare, but they also get some genuine parent time. So I looked for part-time work that would fit round, maybe, me either doing school pick up OR drop off. I'd prefer pick up, as i know that the walk home is where it all comes out, who hit who, what they got the sticker for, what so-an-so did and why they love science, why pink should be called stink, and so on. Plus I get to read with them, do two sets of spelling, two sets of homework, two teas. And two keeping on track. That time after school is vital: I can reach out to the teacher, they can grab me, we can connect, immediately, about any problem and nip it in the bud. I don't want to miss that. So I search. Nothing.
So I look for shift work. Maybe I can do that. There is some. I can work 6-12pm, or 12-6am. I could do that, if pushed, couldn't I? I could. Maybe cleaning work. Home care work.
Here I am. Overeducated and underemployed., and most definately underfinanced. I'm not precious. I'd gladly take grunt work in school hours and have time with my family over the long hours of teaching and missing my kids. I just need it to pay. I am now applying for home help work. If you know of an elderly lady or gent who might be in need of a good home help, and the odd bit of banter, point them my way.